- Craig Angus
- 16 August 2018
Maddie Rice's lyrical play is quietly devastating
Maddie Rice starred in the touring production of Phoebe Waller Bridge's Fleabag last year, commanding the stage in that award-winning show. This time she's written and stars in Pickle Jar, an hour in which an eloquent, lyrical script is matched by Rice's captivating performance.
Rice is introduced as a teacher (known only as Miss) delivering a lecture on stranger danger and taking some stick from her students. Her own failing love life runs as a parallel storyline, with acute observations about the agony of a one-sided relationship coaxing laughs out of a sympathetic situation. Pickle Jar is no feel-good romantic comedy though; as the play progresses the two stories grow closer with devastating consequences. It's a skilfully written show; the dramatic twists are surprising but not so much that it's hard to believe. Rice brings depth and pathos to her supporting characters, particularly the sharp-tongued yet fragile schoolchildren and an evergreen party animal of an Irish flatmate.
There's a lot crammed into Pickle Jar, which would have benefited from a slightly longer running time to better tie up its loose ends. Despite that most minor of complaints, it's a disarming show from a talent we're sure to be hearing more of.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 26 Aug, 4.40pm, £11-£10